For 26 years, the Up & Coming Weekly community newspaper has served residents, visitors and guests by providing accurate and honest news, views and relevant community information that make living and working in Fayetteville and Cumberland County fun and enjoyable.

We provide insights into the people, businesses and organizations that have gone the extra mile and invested time, passion and financial resources into making our community pleasant and unique.

Our Best of Fayetteville readers survey is also unique. Annually, we receive thousands of ballots and painstakingly record the comments and sentiments of our readers. Our dedicated readers pride themselves on making sure they define and determine who deserves to be honored as Fayetteville’s Best of the Best.

The readers survey is not scientific, but it is a well-executed and well-documented informal survey proven highly accurate and incredibly dependable for 25 years. We make no claims otherwise.

The Up & Coming Weekly Best of Fayetteville should not be confused with other local marketing programs. Our readers decide the winners by their survey entries. No person, business or organization is required to buy ad space to be considered or buy tickets to the party to see if they won. We use defined and enforceable voting guidelines that have elevated the honor, prestige and value of the Best of Fayetteville designation. Many of the winners do choose to advertise with us to thank readers for voting them the Best.

Following two years of COVID-19 restrictions, social distancing, mask-wearing, and an overall lack of social interaction, area businesses and organizations are returning to operational normalcy. This year’s celebration has an added special meaning for those who survived the ordeal but also excelled in service and quality despite it. Now, that’s something to celebrate!

To recognize and honor this community’s outstanding people, businesses and institutions, we are celebrating the occasion at the Crown Coliseum Complex on Sept. 27. This is when the Best of the Best will congregate to celebrate their achievements and contributions to our All American City.

Our community has changed over the last 25 years, as has our newspaper. Our Best of Fayetteville survey and our commitment to our readers haven’t changed. We continue to reflect on the best aspects of the Fayetteville community.

The Up & Coming Weekly Best of Fayetteville edition you are holding in your hands will serve you well throughout the year. It is a valuable visitor’s guide, service directory, and cultural and event resource. Please share it with your friends.

Since the first ballots were counted more than two decades ago, Up & Coming Weekly has successfully told the Best of Fayetteville winners’ stories. With your votes and support, we are incredibly proud to share this year’s Best of the Best winners. Please join me, the entire Up & Coming Weekly staff, and all our 2022 Best of Fayetteville winners and sponsors as we begin this year-long celebration.

This issue will be posted on our website — giving you 24/7, 365-days-a-year access to the Best of Fayetteville winners list.

While you are on our website, sign up for the free electronic subscription and receive the Early Bird edition of Up & Coming Weekly every Tuesday, the day before it hits stands around Fayetteville, Cumberland County and Fort Bragg.

I want to thank Seth Benalt and Karen Long of the Crown Coliseum for their help and support in setting up our party.

I also want to thank Steve and Debbie Milburn of The UPS Store in Westwood Shopping Center for their design and creation of the beautiful acrylic Best of Fayetteville awards.

Of course, every legitimate survey needs a competent CPA, and we have the best. Lee Utley has supported and partnered with us for nearly two decades, and his services have been invaluable.

We also appreciate the photography services of the multi-talented Kriss Ward.

Last but certainly not least, a special thanks to the entire Up & Coming Weekly staff. This is our biggest edition and most challenging event during the year, and they have done a tremendous job.

We hope you enjoy this special edition. Keep it handy and refer to it often. We sincerely thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly and supporting this community newspaper.

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